V. Shevchenko (-420) Vs J. Andrade
This fight is a technical mismatch. Jessica cannot win this fight on a decision, as Valentina will out point her on the judges scorecard nearly every time. That leaves a knock out as the only way Andrade can win this fight. She does have several impressive knockouts on her resume including the body slam of Namajunas, but I just do not see that happening here as no one been able to seriously injure Shevchenko, not even Amanda Nunes.
Shevchenko is primarily a counter puncher with a significant height and reach advantage on Andrade. Jessica will try to move inside and she is likely to get pick apart on the counter. Once she falls a couple rounds down, she will become vulnerable to a take down as well. I see Shevchenko winning the first three rounds on points then getting the stoppage on the ground in the fourth or maybe fifth round. Best case scenario, Andrade makes it to the decision with a busted up face. I don’t mind paying the big price on this line.
R. Namajunas (+170) Vs Z. Weili
This should be an incredible fight with two incredibly talented and motivated fighters. The Chinese champion is a big favourite to defend her title. She is fast and strong and certainly has the power to finish the fight. Namajunas is a dancer and a master at slipping punches and countering. She has a reach advantage and her lead jab is devastating. If Rose can avoid the power shots of Zhang for 25 minutes, I would make her a slight favourite on the Judges card. Both fighters are very competent on the ground but I do not see this being a factor in this fight.
But what I love most about Namajunas is her stone cold stare and heart. Losing the belt may have been the best thing to happen to her as I expect her to come back even stronger than she was. She has the heart of a champion and should never be underestimated. This is a very even fight but I seen towards Rose in a decision. This line should be closer to a pick’em so I’m taking the underdog in this fight to reclaim her belt.
U. Hall (+105) Vs C. Weidman
This fight has little chance of going the distance as one of these two men will surely take a nap before it gets to the end. Uriah has finished 5 of his last 10 fights while getting knocked out in three more. After starting his career 13-0 and becoming Middleweight Champ, Chris has now been knocked out in 5 of his last 7 fights. At 36, Weidman simply isn’t the fight he once was. I have to seriously question the chin of Weidman at this stage of his career as multiple knockouts have been the downfall of many great fighters. The brain’s capacity to take such damage diminishes each and every time a fighter takes a shot like that. Against Hall who possesses devastating power and deadly head kicks, this could be a short night for Chris. I expect a second round TKO followed by a retirement announcement by the former champ. Interestingly, both of these fighters boast knockouts of legend Anderson Silva and is likely in part why they are matched in this one.
As for the main event of the night, it doesn’t particularly compelling. Usman is the clear favourite as expected. While I do feel Masvidal has a punchers chance in this one, a five round unanimous decision seems likely for the champ. But I’ll take a pass on betting this one.